Skip to main content

Full text of "Flora Indica Vol-I"

See other formats


ESSAY.                                             <
to the rich herbarium and library of Sir. William Hooker, and
its vicinity to a metropolis containing other collections (espe-
cially the Wallichian Herbarium) indispensable to an Indian
botanist.
Under a combination of so many favourable circumstances,
we felt it our duty to undertake the task proposed to us. Not,
however, having at our command the necessary funds, the sub-
ject was brought before the British Association at the meeting
of 1851, and being most favourably received by its members,
the Directors of the East India uompany were strongly memo-
rialized on behalf of an undertaking in which it was expected
that they would feel the deepest interest. In reply to this re-
commendation, the Court declined promoting the object, but
expressed a willingness to take its merits into consideration
on its completion. The President of the British Association,
in communicating to us this ansvftr, at the same time inti-
mated to us the hopes of his colleagues that we should at
least commence the work. This we did, but, we must con-
fess, with a feeling of discouragement, for the unfavourable
answer of the Court materially retarded our progress, our pri-
vate resources not being sufficient to provide such assistance
as would have relieved us from the mechanical labours of ar-
ranging, distributing, and writing tickets, which have in con-
sequence hitherto occupied more- than three-fourths of our
time. The difficulty of the task has also fai exceeded our an-
ticipations, as we were not prepared for so large a proportion
of Indian plants proving identical with those of other paiis
of the world. This has obliged us, in every large genus, to
have recourse to a critical study of the European, Siberian,
Chinese, and Japanese floras, which has elucidated results to-
tally unexpected by ourselves and fellow-botanists, and at the
same time of extraordinary interest and importance to the
science of Botanical Geography.
As we are anxious to render each portion of the work -us
complete in itself as possible, and are desirous of enlisting in
the cause such of our fellow-botanists as may be willing to